Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani says she’s found the solution to ending gender wage inequality: Step into the STEM field and learn some computing skills, according to Wired.
Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that seeks to close the gender gap in STEM, knows all to well about the shortfalls of women in the corporate world. Even though a majority of the general workforce are women, Saujani says, ladies comprise of only 25 percent of technical jobs.
The Girls Who Code CEO explains that this is a result of the corporate world “missing the mark on tapping into a diverse talent force.” Statistics show that only 2.7 percent of venture-backed companies have women steering the wheel. The share of African-American and Hispanic employees at top-tier technology companies is just five percent. Less than two percent of venture capitalists are of color.
Saujani says that there’s a way to fix this wage rift. We have to start learning to code. STEM jobs have a smaller gender wage gap than non-STEM fields — 14 cents on every dollar vs. the 21 percent disparity in non-technical sectors.
“By educating, inspiring, and equipping young women of all backgrounds with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields, we are incubating the multifaceted and incredibly diverse 21st century female workforce,” Saujani adds.
Saujani concedes, of course, that this is easier said than done, but the Girls Who Code founder knows exactly where to start to rectify the wage inequality gap. Saujani points a finger at the education system, which she believes is doing poorly in arming women for a future in STEM careers.
“By exposing girls to tech careers through school, community-based programs and corporate internships, we can reverse that trend—and probably with a lot more speed and ease than waiting for lawmakers to legislate equality,” Saujani argues.
At today’s rate, only three percent of women are on pace to fill in the 1.4 million computer specialist jobs poised to hit the market in 2020. Yikes.
“Increasing the exposure and access young women have to STEM jobs and skills can no doubt be an effective component of any effort to close the gender-related wage gap,” Saujani concludes.